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Ensuring Superior Quality of Additive Metal Parts

- December 20, 2017
ensuring superior quality of additive metal parts

Ensuring Superior Quality of Additive Metal Parts

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is expanding the world of metal manufacturing by enabling new designs previously not possible with traditional methods. Critical to the production of additive metal parts are the post-processes utilized to meet customer specifications. As new applications and materials for additive metals are developed, post-processing capabilities have also expanded to service desired finishes and critical component features.

With a variety of in-house post processing capabilities and excellent quality control, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing offers fully finished production parts built with DMLS at the quality and specifications customers expect.

Precision Machining

Additive metal parts often require post processing to meet specific engineering requirements or add end-use capabilities. If a part has critical features beyond the as-built additive tolerance of +/-.005-IN, precision machining tightens up tolerances to +/- .0001-IN. Most often, we use CNC milling and conversational milling for these precise operations. We also utilize CNC turning, wire Electro Discharge Machining (EDM) for extreme fine hold and feature definition, and wire EDM drill for hole popping.


DMLS builds in layers; a powerful laser melts powdered metal material one layer at a time in a build chamber. When a DMLS part is raw from the machine, the resulting layer lines are visible and the surface is dull. We offer a variety of tools to optimize and improve the surface of additive metal parts. Our expert DMLS finishers can reduce any components surface roughness from as-built (250 µin RA) down to a mirror polish or another specified finish.
A smooth surface finish is accomplished with blasting cabinets that use media like glass and sand to blast surfaces at high pressures and vibratory tumblers that spin and vibrate parts in large basins. We also utilize surface grinders and detailed hand finishers for a mirror polish.

In-House Quality Controls

To maintain critical quality control standards, we use a range of tools to inspect and ensure customer specifications. With international certification standards ISO 9001 and AS9100, we have stringent systems in place to guarantee component requirements are consistently met. Some of the tools we utilize include Zeiss Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) for coordinate measuring, CNC Renishaw probe for extreme accurate dimensional measuring and surface profilometers to quantify surface roughness.

We can also perform cutup metallography to determine material density, ensure parts haven’t experienced drift in the manufacturing process, and examine the presence of porosity or a change in microstructure. The tools used for these operations include metallographic polishers and metallographic microscopes.

Our in-house part performance services expedite the qualifications process, which allows us todeliver parts to customers faster. These tests include material hardness, pressure drop, air effective area and pressure tests up to 300 psi with our Rockwell hardness tester, flow bench and hydrostatic pressure tester machines.

Job Tracking

Critical to our manufacturing controls of metal production parts is project tracking from file to delivery. Manufacturing traceability covers every move of a geometry from the location of a build plate in a specific machine to its shipping location. We maintain order and part tracking, raw material traceability and part serialization to assist in these operations and ensure customer satisfaction.

With a variety of available technologies and experts behind their operation, we can perform a wide-range of additive metal post-processes to achieve superb standards. Our in-house technologies are able to service your unique design needs.

Learn more about additive metals and the benefits of DMLS